Trainer Nicky Henderson recently stated that Shakalakaboomboom’s preparation had gone perfectly and the trainer believes that his charge has a decent weight. Another bonus is that stable jockey Barry Geraghty is likely to be on board. Geraghty has as good a record as any jockey currently riding with a win and four placed rides in the last ten years. Geraghty also enjoyed a wonderfully successful Cheltenham Festival.
Shakalakaboomboom wasn’t particularly setting the world alight in his novice year over fences having been well beaten at the Cheltenham Festival and when stepped up into open handicap company for the Topham at Aintree.
It was, therefore, something of a surprise to see him pop up and win one of the big handicaps at the Punchestown Festival where, despite a last fence blunder, Shakalakaboomboom held off the late challenge of the well regarded Beautiful Sound from the stable of Gordon Elliott.
Stable reports had outlined that this horse had continued to improve and his reappearance in 11/12 underlines this as he won a Cheltenham handicap at the December meeting seeing off the likes of Knockara Beau, Mon Parrain and Fair Along.
Henderson has reported that this son of Anshan enjoyed his experience of the National fences in the Topham last year but the 2m 6f trip was just too short for the horse.
The horse is available at around the 20/1 mark and with Henderson and Geraghty at the helm, it is sure to be well-backed. Whether it has enough class to win this famous race is another question.
But Henderson is certainly in confident mood. “He’s our intended runner and is all ready to go,” the popular trainer told At The Races.
“After the Topham, in which he jumped beautifully, it was just that two-miles-six was a bit short for him, he went on to Punchestown where he won the Pat Taaffe Chase, then he came out at Cheltenham over three miles and a bit first time out this season and his stamina helped him a lot.”